Ostendorf v. Grange Indemnity Insurance Company
Grange Class Action
2:19-CV-01147-ALM-KAJ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • Plaintiff alleged that the Grange Defendants (Grange Indemnity Insurance Company, Grange Insurance Company (formerly Grange Mutual Casualty Company), Grange Property and Casualty, and Trustgard Insurance Company (together “Grange” or “Grange Defendants”)) breached their contracts (insurance policies) by failing to pay Plaintiff and other Ohio insureds who submitted physical damage claims for their vehicles during the class period, and which resulted in a total loss claim payment, the “actual cash value” of their total loss vehicles. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that the Grange Defendants' settlement practice of paying Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees to members of the Class on a reimbursement basis after the insured replaced their totaled vehicle was improper. The Grange Defendants maintain that they complied with the terms of the insurance policies and applicable law and deny that they acted wrongfully or unlawfully and continue to deny all material allegations.

  • As a part of the settlement, Grange Indemnity Insurance Company, Grange Insurance Company (formerly Grange Mutual Casualty Company), Grange Property and Casualty, and Trustgard Insurance Company (together “Grange” or “Grange Defendants”), have agreed, upon Court approval, to:

    1. Pay Settlement Class Members who timely submit a Claim Form Sales Tax on the Actual Cash Value of their total loss vehicle at the Ohio average sales tax rate of 7.1%.
    2. Pay Settlement Class Members who timely submit a Claim Form Title, Transfer, and Service Fees in accordance with the below schedule, dependent upon the date of the Settlement Class Member’s total loss.

     

    Date of Total Loss
    Claim Payment
    Service Fee Transfer Fee Title Fee Total
    On or After 1/1/2004 $3.50 $1.00 $5.00 $9.50
    On or After 7/1/2009 $3.50 $1.00 $15.00 $19.50
    On or After 6/30/2017 Not more than $5.25 $1.00 $15.00 $21.25
    On or After 7/3/2019 Not more than $5.25
    and not less than $3.50
    $1.00 $15.00 $21.25
    On or After 10/17/2019 $5.00 $1.00 $15.00 $21.00

     

    1. Separately pay attorneys’ fees not to exceed $2,533,561.00, and a Service Award not to exceed $5,000.00 to the Class Representative, will not come from nor reduce any payment made to Settlement Class Members, with both amounts to be approved by the Court.

     

    In exchange, Plaintiff and the Settlement Class members who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement agree to give up any claim they have for payment of Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you can submit a Claim Form to be eligible to be paid. Alternatively, you may, if you wish, request to be excluded from the Settlement, which means you are not eligible for payment, and you maintain your right to sue Grange individually and separately for payment of Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees. You may also object to the terms of the Settlement, if you comply with the requirements.

     
  • You may be a member of the Settlement Class against the Grange Defendants if you were an Ohio policyholder and insured by Grange and submitted a physical damage claim with respect to a vehicle that resulted in a Total Loss Claim Payment during the period May 27, 2004 through July 22, 2020, if you were insured by Grange Indemnity Insurance Company or June 9, 2005 through July 22, 2020, if you were insured by Grange Insurance Company (formerly Grange Mutual Casualty Company), Grange Property and Casualty, or Trustgard Insurance Company. If your Total Loss Claim Payment included Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees, you may not be part of the Settlement Class. If you received a Notice, the Grange Defendants' records indicate you may be a member of the Settlement Class.

  • If you are a Class Member, you had four options:

    Option 1: Submit a Claim Form for Payment. See FAQ #5 for more information.

    Option 2: Exclude yourself from the Settlement. See FAQ #6 for more information.

    Option 3: Object to the Terms of the Settlement. See FAQ #7 for more information.

    Option 4: Do Nothing Now. Stay in the Case. See FAQ #8 for more information.

  • If you are a Class Member, you had the option to submit a Claim Form for payment of Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees. 

    If you wished to file a claim, you must have done so on or before January 29, 2021

    If the address you submit on your Claim Form changes up until 60 days after the Effective Date of the Settlement, you must contact the Settlement Administrator to provide a current address or you may not receive your Settlement Class Member Payment.

  • You had the right to not be part of the Settlement by excluding yourself or “opting out” of the Settlement Class. If you wished to exclude yourself, you must have done so on or before November 1, 2020.

    IF YOU DID NOT EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT CLASS BY THE POSTMARK DEADLINE OF NOVEMBER 1, 2020, YOU REMAIN PART OF THE SETTLEMENT CLASS AND WILL BE BOUND BY THE ORDERS OF THE COURT IN THIS LAWSUIT AND BY THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT IF IT IS APPROVED BY THE COURT, EVEN IF YOU DO NOT SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM FOR PAYMENT. 

     
  • You had the right to file a written objection to the Settlement. If you wished to object, you must have done so on or before November 1, 2020.

  • If you did nothing, you are bound by the terms of the Settlement and will release any claim against Grange for Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees, even if you did not submit a Claim for payment. You will not receive a Settlement Class Member Payment if you did nothing.

  • The Court has preliminarily appointed Plaintiff, Vicki Ostendorf, to be the representative of the Settlement Class. The Court has also preliminarily appointed the following lawyers as Class Counsel for the Settlement Class:

    SHAMIS & GENTILE, P.A.
    Andrew Shamis, Esq.
    14 NE 1, Suite 701
    Miami, FL 33132

    KOPELOWITZ OSTROW P.A.
    Jeff Ostrow, Esq.
    Joshua Levine, Esq.
    1 West Las Olas Blvd., Suite 500
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

    DAPEER LAW
    Rachel Dapeer, Esq.
    300 S Biscayne Blvd., Suite 2704
    Miami, FL 33131

    SPANGENBERG SHIBLEY & LIBER LLP
    Stuart Scott, Esq.
    1001 Lakeside Avenue East, Suite 1700
    Cleveland, OH 33114

    EDELSBERG LAW
    Scott Edelsberg, Esq.
    20900 NE 30, Suite 417
    Aventura, FL 333180

    These lawyers are experienced in handling class action lawsuits, including actions on behalf of insured policyholders. More information about Class Counsel is available on their websites.

    Class Counsel will file an application for attorneys' fees of no more than $2,533,561.00, subject to approval by the Court. Grange Defendants have agreed to pay Class Counsel up to that amount if approved by the Court. Payment of attorneys' fees has no impact and does not affect in any way, and will not reduce, the amount of money that will be paid to Settlement Class Members. If the Court grants Class Counsel's request, and in whatever amount the Court approves Class Counsel's Request, the attorneys' fees and costs will be paid separately by the Grange Defendants. If you submit a valid Claim Form for payment, that amount will be reduced to pay Class Counsel Fees You will not be personally responsible for any fees, costs or expenses incurred by Class Counsel relating to the prosecution of this case.

    Class Counsel will also seek a Service Award to the Class Representative in the amount of $5,000.00, subject to Court approval. The Service Award is designed to reward the Class Representative for securing the recovery awarded to members of the Settlement Class, which is the full amount of damages Plaintiff alleged is owed to Settlement Class members, and to acknowledge the time spent by the Plaintiff participating in the case and mediation, and prosecuting the claim for the benefit of the Settlement Class. The Grange Defendants have agreed to pay the Service Award to the Class Representative up to the amount of $5,000.00. Payment of the Service Award has no impact and does not affect in any way the amount of money that will be paid to Settlement Class Members. If the Court grants the request for an Service Award, and in whatever amount the Court approves the request, the Service Award will be paid separately by the Grange Defendants, and will not affect in any way, and will not reduce, the amount of money paid to Settlement Class Members.

  • As a part of the Settlement, Class Members agree not to sue the Grange Defendants by asserting any claim for payment of Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees. Unless you request exclusion from the Settlement Class, you give up the right to individually sue the Grange Defendants and claim you are owed Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees as part of your total loss payment, even if you do not submit a Claim for payment as part of this Settlement. You are not releasing any other claim against the Grange Defendants. Full terms of the Released Claims and Released Parties can be found in the proposed Settlement Agreement and Release on the Important Documents page.

  • To update your address, you may email the Settlement Administrator at info@ohioautolosstaxsettlement.com or notify the Settlement Administrator in writing.  The mailing address for the Settlement Administrator is:

    Grange Class Action
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    PO Box 91307
    Seattle, WA 98111

    Please include the case name, your full name, your previous mailing address, and your current mailing address for verification purposes.

For More Information

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Mail

Grange Class Action
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91307
Seattle, WA 98111